Many times throughout my leadership career, I have used a mirror-holding approach to help talented direct reports and aspiring leaders to look into and see themselves at work.
Instead of telling colleagues what I perceive as their areas of strengths and development areas, I engage in questions and dialogue to help them better understand their work through examples, letting them chart their journey of improvement.
In this excellent article, Joe Hirsch beautifully frames this concept using ‘hero questions’.
His questions include:
– Tell me about a time this month you felt energised?
– What have you learned about yourself from working on this project?
– What strengths have you found most useful on this project?
– Who have you recently helped, and what difference did it make in their work and yours?
I find that the best feedback comes when we give and receive to help understand our strengths and provide the encouragement and guidance to build upon those strengths. The mirror-holding approach and the dialogue that ensues can be extraordinarily impactful in creating transformational and sustainable change in leaders – it did for me!
Will this post inspire a change to your approach to giving and receiving feedback?